For homeowners, their “dream home” is usually as close to perfect as possible. Whether you built your house from the ground up or you found an existing diamond in the rough, you’re proud of your investment and want to keep it shining for years to come. Part of that pride hinges on the first thing your neighbors and friends will see — curb appeal.

Ensuring the outside of your home is appealing begins with proper lawn maintenance. Are you constantly trying to combat patches of dead grass on the existing lawn? Maybe it’s just time to turn your post-construction dirt mound into a healthy, lush oasis. Nevertheless, we’ll explore the difference between sodding versus seeding in NC and help you find out which is better.

Consider Your Options

The decision to transform your lawn comes down to a few key factors: time, cost, and quality. With a focus on the unique climate in NC, we’ll outline the pros and cons of sodding versus seeding. Although each option includes a different approach, the hopeful outcome is a better lawn with increased pride of ownership and property value.

What’s the Difference?

Sodding involves the installation of pre-grown grass strips on soil that has been prepared. It typically sets up within 2-3 weeks with the end result being an evenly green lawn. This pre-grown grass — also known as sod — comes in 2 feet by 5 feet rolls and is harvested by farmers.

To minimize the risk of damaging the product, and to ensure the sod is acclimated properly to its final climate, sod farmers are usually local within ~100 miles of their target market. A pallet of sod can cover up to 500 square feet.

Seeding is a process of planting grass seeds derived from mature grass plants that have sprouted heads and flowered. Due to the abundance of grass species available, it is essential to find the right one for your region’s climate as well as your maintenance schedule.

In order to achieve an established lawn, seeding takes about a year to two years for a thick and lush lawn. Sod, on the other hand, is established from the get-go. Due to North Carolina’s unique climate, fescue is the only choice for seeding. Warm-season grass species — such as zoysia or Bermuda — are best achieved through sodding.

In order to ensure a proper environment for seeds to germinate and sprout, the soil requires extensive and specific conditions. Although the initial expense of seeding is relatively low, it’s important to take into account the ongoing cost of maintaining it. Herbicides to reduce weed growth, soil to ensure the right pH levels, a consistent watering system, and variables like limiting foot traffic or weather should all be taken into consideration.

Pros and Cons of Sodding versus Seeding

After considering your options between sodding versus seeding, it’s time to find the best choice for your unique situation. A few questions to ask when making the decision:

  • Is your goal short-term or long-term? If you’re ready to spruce up your lawn before the season changes, sod is the most viable option. After installing sod, there is a noticeable difference within a few days. Many warm-season grass species — St. Augustine, zoysia, Bermuda — lack uniformity or can even produce unviable seeds. Your lawn could continue to be bare year-round if seeding does not germinate or ends up being food for squirrels and birds. Sodding guarantees your curb appeal and market value goes up, virtually overnight.
  • What season is best to start the process? Unlike seeding, which is dependent on the type of grass species (cool-season or warm-season), sod can be installed in any season. The only exception is when the ground is frozen. In North Carolina, there is a short time of the year when this occurs — typically from late November to mid-February, but this depends on the general weather conditions.
  • Which one is more expensive? In terms of initial cost, sod installation may cost more than seeding. However, the ongoing cost pales in comparison to the cost of maintaining a lawn from seed. A lawn from grass seed could take six months to one year before it is established, meaning you’ll have to maintain it on your own or hire a lawn care company to provide regular maintenance.
  • Which option requires more maintenance? As we mentioned before, sod requires much less (if any) ongoing maintenance to remain lush and beautiful. It arrives free of weeds so you won’t have to worry about herbicides. After about 4 weeks, your sod can be watered about once or twice per week much like an established lawn. When working with seeded lawns, it’s important to keep the soil moist to allow grass seeds to germinate. That sounds like a lot of watering in the first six months to a year.
  • What looks better year-round? It’s a popular opinion among homeowners and realtors alike that sod lawns look better than lawns in the process of being seeded. Because sod is cultivated and established prior to installation, there is a low probability of patchiness and weeds. They require less maintenance which allows for a lower margin of error than establishing a grassy null from seeding.

Final Thoughts from the Pros

We understand how important it is to take pride in your home. You worked hard to make the investment and having a perfect lawn for your family to enjoy is essential. When considering the difference in appeal a beautiful lawn can make, sod is the obvious choice.

As a local, family-owned, and operated company, Peak Sodding understands that importance. Our focus on affordable, quality sod installation in Apex, NC allows you to take the stress off maintaining your lawn while enjoying a day in the sun all year long. For information on the scope of services we provide or to learn more about sodding versus seeding in NC, visit our website. We look forward to serving you!